CarLock 3.0 allow greater security than before

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CarLock, the GPS revolution designed to notify motorists if their vehicle is broken in to or stolen, has launched a brand new, updated version of its app.

CarLock 3.0 is a brand new generation of car protection, with a redesigned interface that is more user-friendly than ever before. A range of robust new features are also included in the update, including a slick new dashboard, a redesigned and streamlined login screen and a profile for multi-vehicle overviews.

Smarter, quicker and more intuitive than ever, the latest version of the app will launched on 6/22/2016. All existing users will be invited to upgrade at no cost, giving greater peace of mind at the touch of a button. The exciting new update will take vehicle security to a whole new level, and keep drivers more in touch with their cars than ever before.

Matej Persolja, CEO of Protectus Technologies, Inc., says, “We’re very excited to launch the updated version of the CarLock app, to give drivers more control over their vehicle security than they’ve ever enjoyed in the past. The entire thing has been redesigned to make it easier to use, and there are a bundle of new features which integrate with the CarLock itself, providing core diagnostics and protecting the vehicle at all times.

“CarLock indicates a move away from traditional car alarms, which are largely ignored nowadays, signifying a smart new way to protect vehicles at home and elsewhere. We’re pleased we’ve been able to leverage the latest technology to provide a better, more effective companion app for all of our CarLock customers.”

As well as the new app, the CarLock team will be launching a my.CarLock web interface – a brand new dashboard which offers an at-a-glance overview of each car, completed journeys, and a brand new metric: Your Driving Score. This new score gives a number between 1-100 so drivers can gauge how smooth their driving is. Users will also be able to see how many journeys they’ve made within a certain timeframe, as well as adding additional vehicles to their account.

The CarLock itself uses remote GPS technology to allow vehicle owners to track their car’s every movement, as well as pinpointing its location if necessary. By logging into the app on a smartphone or tablet device, users can monitor their vehicle twenty-four hours a day. New features integrated within the app also allow users to personalise their experience by uploading images of their own vehicle to the app.

The CarLock communicates with the app via the CarLock Cloud, which notifies the owner with a mobile alert if a series of suspicious activities are detected. The app also sends notifications when the CarLock has been disconnected.

The new look app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and is compatible with any smartphone running iOS. An Android version will be available later in the year. CarLock 3.0 is designed to run in the background, providing round-the-clock updates on the vehicle’s location and giving vehicle owners total peace of mind that their expensive asset is protected.

To learn more about the company or to place an order visit www.carlock.co or download the app from https://itunes.apple.com/si/app/carlock/id721180397?mt=8

 

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Consumers Union Applauds ‘Unprecedented’ Volkswagen Settlement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, today applauded the settlement package announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to address Volkswagen intentionally installing software to circumvent the emissions control system in nearly 500,000 2.0-liter diesel vehicles sold in the U.S and evade emissions standards.

“Today’s agreement forces Volkswagen to make consumers whole, after having ripped them off. We’re pleased that VW owners and lessees have the option to choose what to do with their faulty cars, and get significant cash compensation regardless of their choice,” said William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union. “We applaud regulators for their work to ensure that the settlement also addresses the environmental and air quality impacts of these faulty vehicles. This unprecedented settlement – the largest in automotive history – and forthcoming civil and criminal penalties should send a strong message to deter companies who look to boost their bottom lines by conning consumers and lying to the government.

“We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the consent decree. We will be watching closely to make sure that VW follows through on its commitments to both consumers and the environment, that separate settlements are reached for cars that are not part of today’s announcement, and that the government’s penalties for VW’s deceit are substantial,” said Wallace.

B.E. S.A.F.E. with tips from Michelin and AAA

 As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend Michelin tires and AAA have teamed up to offer six safe travel tips.

B: Begin with a Safety Check: It’s better to be safe than sorry. Conduct periodic safety checks to ensure your car is in good operating condition, especially before a long trip. Before you hit the road, make sure your lights, fluids, hoses, windshield wipers and tires are in good working order.

E: Employ the Penny Test: Tires are the only part of your car that touches the road, so ensuring they’re in good condition for maximum grip is of the utmost importance. Make sure your tires have the proper amount of tread before hitting the road, especially with the possibility of unexpected summer showers. Click here to learn how easy it is to do this with a penny. And if you decide your tires need replacing, you might want to consider a great all-season tire like the Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus, which delivers true all-season performance and superior wet and dry braking.

S: Stay Safe, Check Your Pressure: Tires don’t carry the weight of your vehicle, the pressure inside them does. Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel efficiency, wear out prematurely and, most importantly, suffer unnoticeable and irreparable damage that compromises their performance and safety. In fact, under inflation is one of the most common reasons for tire failure.

As a general rule, your tire pressure will gain or lose 1 PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10° F change in temperature. Check your air pressure when tires are ‘cold’ in the morning and compare that number to the sticker in your doorjamb before hitting the road for holiday travel.  Don’t forget to check the air in your spare, too.

A: Avoid overloading: Consider leaving your extra suitcase at home when seeking out sun and sand, and be sure to clear out any extra junk that may have accumulated in your car over the winter. Lightening your load will positively impact your gas mileage, handling and braking distance.

F: Focus on the Road: While on the road, focus fully on driving. Any activities that could divert your attention should be avoided while at the wheel. This includes things like using your phone, snacking, or reaching into the backseat to attend to a child or pet. Save these actions for a rest stop, or if necessary, pull over to the side of the road.

E: Emergency Preparedness:  Always carry a well-stocked emergency kit in your car that includes items such as jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, reflective triangles, first aid kit, water and non-perishable food items. It’s also a good idea to program your cell phone with emergency numbers, including that of your roadside assistance provider, and keep a backup written list in your glove compartment.

Rain-X offers summer car care tips

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Whether you drive a Ferrari or a Jeep, let your car’s personality shine through.  The Rain-X® portfolio offers a variety of car care products to maximize the appearance of your vehicle. Here are a few products you should know about:

  • Rain-X® Wash & Wax: Rain‑X® High Foaming Wash & Wax is a specialty car wash that washes and waxes your vehicle in just one easy application. Deep cleaning foam loosens and lifts off dirt and road grime while gentle Carnauba Wax beads help to protect your car’s finish.
  • Rain-X® Foaming Car Wash Concentrate: Rain‑X® Foaming Car Wash visibly reduces spots and streaks for a high gloss finish. The high-foaming formula is concentrated for greater cleaning action.
  • Rain-X® Headlight Restoration Kit: Rain‑X® Headlight Restoration provides a deep clean to yellowed, hazed headlights with the use of a specially designed polish and sealant. Seeing is believing!

KBB Study: Drivers still multi-task while driving despite risks

 KBB.com Brand Ambassador and Professional Football Player Todd Gurley, NASCAR Driver Chase Elliott Join in 

#DriveSmart Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign

 

IRVINE, Calif., April 14, 2016 – Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. While nearly every state in the U.S., as well as Washington D.C., has laws prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving, a new survey by Kelley Blue Book reveals that 61 percent of drivers continue to multi-task from behind the wheel.

The 2016 Kelley Blue Book Distracted Driving Awareness survey, released today by KBB.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, is part of the company’s #DriveSmart Distracted Driving Awareness campaign, launched during Distracted Driving Month. The national survey reveals that nearly half (47 percent) of respondents have used their phone while driving on roads or residential streets, 40 percent have used their phones while cruising the highway and 86 percent have used their phone while at a stop light or in heavy traffic. Talking on the phone and using the navigation system were the highest rated activities reported with 78 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Texting came in third with 67 percent, followed by using music apps (47 percent) and using social media (31 percent).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 25 percent of all crashes involve some form of driver distraction, and drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In fact, nearly three quarters of survey respondents (71 percent) believe that cell phone usage is the biggest threat facing today’s teen drivers, with drinking and driving (18 percent) and reckless driving (10 percent) rating as a distant second and third, respectively.

According to Distraction.gov, the average time a driver takes their eyes off the road while texting is five seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. Millennial drivers report the highest rates of texting (74 percent) and checking social media sites (36 percent) while driving. However, young people are not the only drivers reaching for their phones. The survey reveals that Baby Boomers lead the pack, reporting the highest rate overall of talking on the phone while driving (87 percent), followed by Gen X (83 percent) and Millenials (76 percent).

“We all know that texting while driving is a serious distraction, but it isn’t the only reason drivers are taking their eyes off the road,” said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “With the increase of in-car technology, there are more distractions vying for a driver’s attention. Whether it is in-dash navigation, music apps or voice command call or text, more and more drivers are multi-tasking behind the wheel as opposed to focusing on the road.”

Take the Pledge: “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All”

In addition to conducting the nationwide survey, Kelley Blue Book, along with NHTSA and The Conor Lynch Foundation, will host a student assembly at Inglewood High School in Los Angeles on April 21, 2016, to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving. Professional football player Todd Gurley and local officials will be on hand to bring attention to the issue. At the assembly, the students will be directed to take the “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All” pledge at Distraction.gov.

“Texting behind the wheel is dangerous, deadly and completely preventable.  Help make our roads safe for everyone and save it for when you’re not in the driver seat,” said Chris Murphy, regional administrator for NHTSA. “Working with our safety partners and organizations like Kelley Blue Book, we’re calling on drivers to take the pledge and put their phones down.  Our focus is to drive positive behavior change and encourage safe driving habits.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, also has joined the campaign by creating a digital PSA that was released earlier today to help spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving. Elliott, a champion NASCAR driver who himself is only 20 years old, is uniquely qualified to share the importance of giving your full attention to driving, helping to ensure everyone’s safety by reminding people to just drive.

AAA: Cost to drive hit 6-year low

Annual cost to own and operate a vehicle falls to $8,558 in 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 2016) – Due to falling gas prices, the annual cost to own and operate a vehicle in the United States has fallen to a six-year low of $8,558 according to AAA’s 2016 Your Driving Costs study. This year, a driver can expect to spend 57 cents for each mile driven, approximately $713 per month, to cover the fixed and variable costs associated with owning and operating a car.

“Thanks to lower gas prices, American drivers can expect to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs in 2016,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Fortunately, this annual savings more than offsets the moderate increases in maintenance, insurance, finance charges and other costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.”

Based on 15,000 miles

mall Sedan  Medi. Sedan    Large Sedan    Sedan Avg.    SUV (4WD)    Minivan
Ann. Total Cost  $6,579    $8,604   $10,492    $8,558    $10,255    $9,262
Ann. Cost/Mile   $0.4386  $0.5736   $0.6994  $0.5705    $0.6837  $0.6175
Fuel: DOWN 24.62 percent to 8.45 cents per mile/$1,267.50 per year (-$414).

Compared to last year’s study, the average price of regular fuel fell more than 25 percent to $2.139 per gallon in the fourth quarter. At the same time, vehicle redesigns and improved powertrain technologies increased the average fuel economy of the sedans used in the study to 26.71 mpg.

Insurance: UP 9.60 percent to $1,222 per year (+$107).
Insurance rates vary widely with driver, driving habits, issuing company, geographical area and more. While AAA’s insurance cost estimates are based on low-risk drivers with good driving records, even this group has seen rates rise over the past few years. Rising costs are likely attributable to lower gas prices, which have resulted in more miles driven, greater numbers of collisions and higher insurance payouts.

Depreciation: UP 2.87 percent to $3,759 per year (+$105).
The single largest ownership expense, depreciation, rose for 2016 due to robust new-car sales and, therefore, increasing numbers of used and off-lease vehicles entering the marketplace. This reduces retained value and resale prices, thus increasing depreciation.

Maintenance: UP 3.33 percent to 5.28 cents per mile/$792 per year (+$25 per year).
While there is significant variation among individual vehicles, modest increases in vehicle maintenance are attributable to engines requiring more expensive semi- or full-synthetic motor oils, and increases in extended warranty pricing and shop labor rates.

A recent AAA survey found that 35 percent of Americans have skipped or delayed service or repairs that were recommended by a mechanic or specified by the factory maintenance schedule. According to AAA’s certified Approved Auto Repair shops, consumers that forget or ignore recommended maintenance ultimately pay higher repair costs.

License/Registration/Taxes: UP 3.31 percent to $687 per year (+$22).
License, registration and tax costs are impacted by vehicle sales prices and state/local tax rates. In addition to rising vehicle prices, many states, counties and cities have increased their fees related to vehicle purchasing, titling, registration and licensing.

Finance Charges:  UP 2.09 percent to $683 per year (+$14).
The average vehicle finance rate remained relatively unchanged in 2016. The modest dollar increase in finance charges is attributable to higher new car prices combined with increased tax, title, license and registration fees, which are typically rolled into the vehicle financing.

Tires: UP 2.04 percent to 1.00 cent per mile/$150 per year (+$3).
Due to the competitive and dynamic nature of the tire market, tire costs in 2016 are relatively unchanged, rising by just .02 cent per mile.

In addition to calculating the driving costs for sedans, AAA determined annual costs associated with both minivans and sport utility vehicles.  Owners of these vehicle types also benefit from lower driving costs in 2016, at $9,262 and $10,255 respectively.

“One-in-five Americans plan to purchase or lease a new vehicle in the next year, and many consumers may mistakenly believe minivans are more expensive to drive than a large sedan,” continued Nielsen. “With lower gas prices, these vehicles offer drivers the flexibility of transporting additional passengers and cargo while remaining more affordable to own and operate compared to a large sedan.”

AAA has published Your Driving Costs since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile, and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon.

The Your Driving Costs study employs a proprietary AAA methodology to analyze the cost to own and operate a vehicle in the United States. Variable operating costs considered in the study include fuel, maintenance and repair, and tires. Fixed ownership costs factored into the results include insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges. Ownership costs are calculated based on the purchase of a new vehicle that is driven over five years and 75,000 miles. Your actual operating costs may vary. See AAA’s 2016 Your Driving Costs brochure for a list of vehicles and additional information on the underlying criteria used in the study.

And the 10 lowest rated cars are …..

BY GERRY MILES

There are the Razzies, the jazzies and many other names for things in the worst of categories that hold an unwanted place in the American desire to rank so many things.

Consumer Reports, which rates everything from dishwashers to xylophones it seems has released its lowest-rated cars in 10 categories with the overall lowest scores.

Their hope to avoid your purchasing a clunker to replace the one you’re trading away. To paraphrase their report, everything but these vehicles is a better choice.

The Overall Score offers a complete perspective on each model, combining road-test score, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety, including government and insurance industry crash-test results.

Several of these vehicles are due for replacement this year, and are likely to be carrying significant incentives, or at least have some generous negotiating room. As the maxim goes, great deals are rarely found on great cars. In these cases, falling for a smooth sales pitch and a swell cash-back offer could lead you to suffering years of buyer’s remorse.

To quote the Consumer Reports release; “avoid one of the worst cars of 2016 and other subpar vehicles, check all of our tested vehicles. Better yet, skip right to our 10 Top Picks of 2016 to see the truly exemplary models.”

Remember forewarned is forearmed. Let the buyer beware.

The Lowest-Rated Cars in 10 Categories:
Lowest-Rated Subcompact: Mitsubishi Mirage
Lowest-Rated Compact: Fiat 500L
Lowest-Rated Midsized Sedan: Chrysler 200
Lowest-Rated Compact Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250
Lowest-Rated Midsized Luxury Car: Lincoln MKS
Lowest-Rated Family SUV: Dodge Journey
Lowest-Rated Luxury Compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport
Lowest-Rated Large Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade
Lowest-Rated Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country
Lowest-Rated Green Car: Mitsubishi i-MiEV